Objective: This study was conducted to identify risk factors for depressive symptomatology among older Chinese migrants.
Method: One hundred and sixty-two Chinese migrants aged 55 years or older, living in the community and recruited via Chinese community organizations and general practitioners, were interviewed using a Chinese version of the Geriatric Depression Scale and measures of stressful life events, morbid conditions, self-rated health, acculturation, social support and service utilization.
Result: Twenty-six percent of participants met the criteria for depressive symptomatology. No recent migrants showed symptoms of depression. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that lower emotional support, greater number of visits to a doctor, difficulties in accessing health services and low New Zealand cultural orientation increased the risk of showing symptoms of depression.
Conclusion: Significant numbers of older Chinese migrants appear to be depressed or at risk for depression and, while participants with depressive symptoms consulted general practitioners more than their counterparts without such symptoms, they reported greater difficulty in accessing health services. The findings point to the need for further epidemiological study of this growing sector of the population and investigation of the nature of its engagement with health services. Social support and aspects of acculturation may play a significant role in preventing depression. This also requires further investigation.